Sometimes it’s challenging to get motivated when you own a business. Many small business owners work alone and have very few peers. Regardless, each year begins similarly: we raise our weary heads, sleep off the party remnants, put away the decorations, and somewhere along the way we realize it’s time to re-engage, get motivated and begin again.
When you own a business, it’s the same, except that no one is holding you accountable but yourself. Sometimes in the world of solopreneurs, it’s difficult to stay motivated. But I’ve found some the secrets behind reviving my energy that work quite well! And here are the 7 secrets I’ve learned through doing this that help me to get motivated about my business, my clients and my results to stay motivated all year long.
1. Complete a ‘deep-dive’ review of last year’s results
“Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences and failing to achieve anything useful.” ~ Margaret J. Wheatley
I make it a practice to make time for a deep review of last year’s performance. In fact, I’ve created an entire business planning retreat as a result! It’s called the Planapaloozah and it includes a review by quarter where I open my planner and go week by week through my schedule to unearth my accomplishments.
During the deep review, I reflect on the past year and key into my emotions while I ask myself some key reflective questions:
- What went well?
- What obstacles did I encounter?
- What did I accomplish?
- How much money did I make?
- What were my total expenses?
- Which were my strongest/weakest months of the year?
- How well did I manage my time?
- In what ways did I contribute/give back?
- What were my most difficult obstacles, distractions and misses?
- Did I stick to the habits I created in earlier times?
- Where did I let myself down?
After all, we all endeavor to take on far too much, too often. However, when you do take the chance to deeply review, you’ll understand your overall experience and feelings about your past year. Sometimes you’ll feel bad, but most often, you’ll find a way to make sense of the results and this process helps you create closure.
2) Identify your drains and drips
Another important practice when reviewing past results is to see what went poorly. Drains are things that happened that zapped your energy, and drips are those things, that if you do nothing will soon take over and get worse. BUT the nice thing about the new year is that you can easily press the reset button. It’s why people make new years ‘resolutions’. The word resolution is defined as a firm decision to do or not to do something. Another definition is the action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter. So inherent in ‘resolution’ is solving a problem for good. And you can solve your business and personal problems in many ways. Sometimes you’ll need to refresh your systems, or get more support in key areas. When you look at your business and life from a ‘drain/drip’ perspective, you are able to see things a bit more clearly. For instance, you may want to distance yourself from people who drain you. Or, when you realize the amount of pain things have caused, you may use that negative experience to motivate you to move your business or life in a different direction. Whatever you decide to do, it’s important to understand the gaps so you can set better goals for next year and experience more life-balance more often!
3) Prioritize ‘me’ time
“Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” ~ Eleanore Roosevelt
Once I’ve reviewed the goals and taken note of the gaps, I immediately start to look at ways to build in time for me, my family and my health. When I spend time with my family, and truly feel relaxed and rejuvenated, I GET MOTIVATED! A shortcut to demotivation is never having any time to renew and rejuvenate! That’s why a key to get motivated is to prioritize some quality ‘me time’! In the past, I used to leave myself last on the list, but not anymore. My priorities are important and I can no longer take a ‘when I can fit it in’ approach. I find that self-care is the KEY to success for my business. And, when I’m taking care of myself regularly, I do a MUCH better job taking care of my clients, focusing on my goals and manifesting the results I want. When I keep pulling equity out of my own bank account, I never have anything left. So, in order to prioritize me time, I pull out my planner and start sketching in holidays, birthdays, important dates, vacations and time for rejuvenation. It’s the FIRST on my list now. We must focus on the essentials of our life to get motivated and stay there. We must focus on the things that bring joy, and spend our time doing what creates fulfillment, excitement and growth. So, keeping this in mind, I set new goals after I work through my personal, family and life-flow balance priorities.
4) Set new goals for the coming year
“A goal is a dream with a deadline.” ~ Napolean Hill
With so many distractions available today, most people are reaching their own limits. No wonder it’s so difficult to get motivated in business! Most people are so overdrawn and spent that we find it hard to focus. We are quickly realizing that our lives and brains can sustain only so much input and distraction. Today, it’s essential to create focused goals. Our ability to focus is finite. And specific, actionable and measurable goals help guard us against distractions. And, goal setting doesn’t have to be hard. Good focused goals will help you get motivated if you follow these tips.
Goal Setting Approach 1:
- One way to set new goals is to choose 3-5 overarching goals for the coming year first.
- Then ‘chunk’ those big annual goals into smaller, quarterly goals. (Download our free printable 90 Day Goal Planner here!)
- Assign specific ways you’ll measure yourself against those goals and know when you’ve succeeded.
- Then assign a timeframe for making those goals come to fruition. For a goal without a timeframe is only a wish…
- Review your goals regularly. Post them prominently so you are always aware of your accomplishments.
Goal Setting Approach 2:
- Take another tact and list up to 25 goals you want to achieve this year. (This is the Warren Buffet approach to goal-setting.)
- Now prioritize them from one to 25, so the top five you want to focus on are clear.
- Set a plan on how you will achieve those top five goals.
- Put the other 20 in another list.
- This other list becomes an avoid-at-all-cost list. No matter what, these things get no attention from you until you’ve succeeded with your top five.
By choosing your top goals, clarifying them, and defining plans around how you’ll get there, you have essentially prioritized your time until your goals are met. Now, all you have to do is get busy working toward them until you achieve them.
5) Get motivated with an accountability partner
“Accountability in life separates the wishers from the action-takers that care enough about their future to account for their daily actions!” ~ John Di Lemme
Have you ever treated yourself to a true accountability partner? Have you ever had someone hold the space for YOU to be and stay accountable to yourself, your dreams, aspirations, and goals? I suggest you do! There is nothing like having the support and consistency that an accountability buddy can provide you. Accountability is defined as an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions. And, it’s so important to staying motivated! It’s also a BIG reason people choose to work with a coach in their business. Whether you choose to work with a coach, join a program, or set up your own accountability support team, it will help you carry out your actions, stay consistent and declare your goals to another person who can hold an audience for you.
6) Plan something to look forward to
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~ Howard Thurman
Motivation is an emotional state. So it behooves you to keep looking forward toward the future. One of the best ways to do this as a business owner is to plan something to get your excitement flowing.
I’ve found that when I’m planning a program launch, creating a new product, or just planning something for me personally, I get excited for months before and after. Last year, I planned a two-week personal trip to New Zealand whilst planning a big 5-day Master Class Social Media Tele summit. Both events were amazingly complex, but I was SO motivated in the planning. Setting a strong deadline is helpful, and I was able to use both the personal and business goals to stay motivated for the duration of the summer!
Both the Tele summit and the trip helped me get motivated and I was able to ride that motivation all year. You’ll be happy to put a goal out into the future, chip away at it and launch it with a hard launch date. The excitement brews and makes everything move quickly!
7) Get motivated by giving back and paying it forward
In addition to the ideas above, one of the best ways to get motivated throughout the year in business is to focus on giving back. Too often business owners focus on profit, loss and the internal struggles of running a business. Instead, think of ways you can give back (to your clients, family and others), or better yet, pay it forward. There are several times I’ve felt the motivation from doing something for others. It’s a quick, sure-fire shortcut to getting motivated.
In conclusion, although I know it can be challenging to manage a business and create a life that works, there are specific secrets behind getting motivated in your business. If you follow the 7 secrets above, you’ll find it easier to tap into that energy and get motivated for a year’s worth of productive results.
If you’d like some support in getting and staying motivated in your business, I can help. I have several programs (Planapaloozah) and 1-1 coaching programs to help you escape overwhelm, overcome loneliness, develop accountability and get the results you desire from your business! Contact me to set up your free phone consultation and let’s see if I can help you get back into the driver’s seat of your business and create the life-flow you’ve been craving!